Case Control Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2020. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 14, 2020; 26(46): 7352-7366
Published online Dec 14, 2020. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v26.i46.7352
Colonic vitamin D receptor expression is inversely associated with disease activity and jumonji domain-containing 3 in active ulcerative colitis
Hong-Qian Wang, Wen-Hui Zhang, Ya-Qi Wang, Xiao-Pan Geng, Ming-Wei Wang, Yuan-Yuan Fan, Jing Guan, Ji-Long Shen, Xi Chen
Hong-Qian Wang, Wen-Hui Zhang, Ya-Qi Wang, Xiao-Pan Geng, Ming-Wei Wang, Yuan-Yuan Fan, Jing Guan, Xi Chen, Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230022, Anhui Province, China
Ji-Long Shen, Department of Pathogen Biology, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, Anhui Province, China
Author contributions: Wang HQ collected the data, performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript; Zhang WH, Wang YQ and Geng XP participated in the acquisition of the data; Wang MW and Fan YY provided serum and tissue samples; Guan J generated the tables and figures; Shen JL and Chen X designed the study and revised the manuscript.
Supported by The Key Projects of Natural Science Research of Anhui Province in China, No. 201904a07020043.
Institutional review board statement: The study was approved by the ethics committee of the First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University (No. PJ2019-14-23).
Informed consent statement: All patients gave informed consent.
Conflict-of-interest statement: None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
STROBE statement: The authors have read the STROBE Statement-checklist of items, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the STROBE Statement-checklist of items.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Xi Chen, PhD, Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, No. 218 Jixi Road, Hefei 230022, Anhui Province, China.
Received: September 27, 2020
Peer-review started: September 27, 2020
First decision: October 17, 2020
Revised: October 28, 2020
Accepted: November 4, 2020
Article in press: November 4, 2020
Published online: December 14, 2020
Research background

Vitamin D has been proved to be associated with the pathogenesis of ulcerative colitis (UC) due to its role in regulating immunity. Increased Jumonji domain-containing 3 (Jmjd3) can aggravate colitis in mice by demethylating repressive trimethylated H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3). However, it is unknown whether Jmjd3 and H3K27me3 are associated with the pathogenesis of UC, and the association between vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the Jmjd3 pathway remains unclear.

Research motivation

There is limited evidence on the influence of vitamin D on disease activity in Chinese patients with active UC. The expression of Jmjd3 and H3K27me3 in the intestinal mucosa of patients with UC has not been studied. Research on the relationship between VDR and the Jmjd3 is helpful to understand the possible pathogenesis of UC.

Research objectives

To investigate the expression of serum vitamin D, VDR, Jmjd3 and H3K27me3 in UC patients and controls, and to determine the correlation between VDR and the Jmjd3 pathway.

Research methods

In this study, 100 patients with active UC and 56 healthy controls were enrolled. Serum C-reactive protein and alkaline phosphatase levels were determined by immunoturbidimetry. White blood cell and hemoglobin were detected using a Sysmex XN-9000 automatic hematology analyzer. The content of serum vitamin D was determined by radioimmunoassay. The expression of VDR, Jmjd3 and H3K27me3 in intestinal mucosa was detected by immunohistochemistry.

Research results

Patients with active UC had lower levels of vitamin D than controls. Serum vitamin D level was negatively correlated with disease activity in the UC cohort. VDR expression in the mucosa of UC patients was reduced compared with normal tissues and negatively correlated with disease activity. Simultaneously, Jmjd3 expression increased, while H3K27me3 decreased in UC patients. The Jmjd3 level was negatively correlated with the level of VDR and H3K27me3, while the VDR level was positively correlated with H3K27me3 in all subjects.

Research conclusions

This report outlines an inverse correlation of vitamin D and VDR with disease activity in active UC patients in which both Jmjd3 and H3K27me3 are presumedly participated.

Research perspectives

More quantitative measures will be performed for detecting VDR, Jmjd3 and H3K27me3 in UC patients. Clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation should be carried out, which will contribute to a better understanding of the effect of vitamin D on UC.